City leaders honoring former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington during “Black History” month
Change came to Birmingham with the help of determined political pioneers. In 1968 civil rights attorney Authur Shores became the first African American appointed to the Birmingham City Council. The appointment garnered national attention, to a city known just few years earlier as one of the most segregated in the nation. Just a few years after Shores broke down political barriers, Richard Arrington was elected to the at-large council. Councilor Marcus Lundy campaigned for Arrington as a child. He describes Arrington as a pioneer and a living legend. While serving on the council and as mayor, Arrington set out to establish ordinances requiring city departments to formulate hiring plans that included affirmative action goals. He also pushed for a formal investigation of the shooting of an African American suspect while he was in police custody. The hearing was inconclusive, but opened the door to looking at police procedures. The city is honoring Arrington for his extraordinary achievements. For more information go to www.birminghamalcitycouncil.org.